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Columnist Phil Rogers has decided Ryan Braun’s appeal for us

Feb 1, 2012, 6:36 AM EDT

braun getty wide Getty Images

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune writes an overview of the Brewers.  He devotes much of it to arguing that the Ryan Braun contract was a terrible move by the Brewers, and even compares it unfavorably to Alex Rodriguez‘s original $250 million deal with the Rangers.

Yes, the contract that will never pay him more than $20 million in a season and, compared to lots of other superstar deals, actually seems somewhat reasonable on the cash even if the length carries some risk. Hey, it’s his column, he can write what he wants.

But the most interesting thing about it is that he seems to blame the contract for Ryan Braun’s positive drug test in October. And, unlike the folks who have reported on the test, does not believe that it was inadvertent or the result of a tainted supplement or something. No, Rogers believes that it was Braun “amping up” his game in order to justify what, in the grand scheme of things, pretty reasonable contract:

Braun would have been a fool to say no to the deal, but it puts the onus on him to perform. So the guy who led the National League in slugging as a rookie amped up his game to again lead the NL in slugging and to compile a .994 OPS last season, earning an MVP award — and then he tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance.

So great it is that Rogers can see past everything else being reported about Braun’s test, capture his true motivation — a desperate desire to justify his insane contract — and determine his specific transgression, which was to “amp up his game” and perform.

Thank you, Detective Rogers. Your services here are invaluable.

  1. ditto65 - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Thank Goodness we have people like Phil Rogers to figure things out for us. I mean, he doesn’t even have to investigate to find the answers! He should be a politician. Solve the country’s problems. Save the whales…

  2. nightrain42 - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    Love it how the media wants to find away for the golden child to explain his tainted test away, but u crucify Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell..guys who never officially tested positive. Media bias at its best!

    • paperlions - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:29 AM

      You don’t read this blog very often, do you?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      Bonds did test positive, and no writer on this blog has ever accused Bagwell.

  3. mute617 - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    Why no news at all about the supposed other 2 Brewers who spiked on the same test? Why only Braun? That’s right, nobody from a small market team could POSSIBLY be MVP unless he cheated… So he MUST have done it. Nevermind that he doesn’t exhibit ANY of the typical flags

  4. lardin - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    He is a columnist. He’s paid to provoke people and to get you to read his stuff, even if you think he’s wrong. Its like Howard stern the people who hated him, listened more just because they wanted to see what he would say next

    • lyon810 - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:49 AM

      it’s nothing like Stern. Stern is a shock jock who caters to what you are saying about provoking and such. A columnist, such as Rogers, is not expected to provoke, but rather to report on the facts articulately and provide some insight.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:08 AM

      No, columnists should provide analysis and opinion, and the public should be able to assume that the analysis and opinion are based on facts (emphasis on should). Stern is an entertainer.

      @lardin, I don’t blame you for confusing the two . . . too many reporters and columnists do the same.

    • ufullpj - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:10 AM

      Lardin, I agree – he’s paid to be polarizing. Columnists, Editors, Producers, etc. know that if they want to jack up their numbers – page views, etc. – they should right something (an opinion) controversial about teams with passionate followings – the Packers, Cubs, Red Sox, Yankees, Steelers, Cowboys, etc….teams that invoke intense feelings all around. Why do you think Favre got so much pub in the later years of his career? He was a web-traffic bonanza.

      At the same time, the best columnists (and we’ll all disagree on who they are), but guys like Peter King, Mike Silver, Jon Heyman, Andy Katz, etc. – they actually do their homework. Hell, even Jason Whitlock, who may be as controversial as any, does his homework. Jim Rome, the sports version of Howard Stern, does his homework.

      The Rogers opinion is his opinion, and he’s entitled to it – until he starts projecting his opinion as fact. That’s the line he can’t cross.

      • Old Gator - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:37 AM

        To hell with columnists and entertainers. All this polarization is too much for me. I want that old time religion. What channel is the 700 Club on?

      • Old Gator - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:39 AM

        By the way, does that mean that Braun was taking….polaroids?

  5. Charles Gates - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Why do I think that ‘amped up his game’ will be the next accusatory innuendo that will give poor writers just enough deniability to prevent them from being suspected plagarists?

    • kopy - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      I think Phil Rogers got an undeserved raise, and so he felt the need to make accusations in this column to “amp up his game.”

  6. Francisco (FC) - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    Sgt. Friday he ain’t

    • Old Gator - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Sgt. Bilko he might be.

  7. snowbirdgothic - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    And Braun would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids and their Phil Rogers!

    C’mon, Phil. Time for a Rogers snack.

  8. brewcrewfan54 - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    He’s welcome to write whatever trash he wants. Why he decided to wait tilll now to bash Braun leads me to believe he’s just trying to stir up controversey. This guy would be a great hire at ESPN. They love creating controversey and making up news over there.

    • ditto65 - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:19 PM

      Yeah – ESPN, or PFT.

  9. brewcrewfan54 - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    Now that I read the column this guy is a hack. He’s writing capsules of every MLB team and he spends the Brewers time on ranting about Braun’s pretty reasonable contract? What a loser. Not to mention while he’s right its risky, when you have a chance to lock up Players like Ryan Braun for essentially their whole career for what will be a very reasonable pricetag you take the risk. You’d think some whp’s job is in sports would understand this a little better.

  10. muskyhunter2542 - Feb 1, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Opinions are like A**holes… Everyones got one, including this d-bag!!!!

  11. kiwicricket - Feb 1, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Something which is kind of lost during this whole tedious process of accusations of/and inaccuracies….does anyone REALLY care?

    As a follower of many different sports all around the globe, it seems baseball is the most which feels it’s being ‘cheated’ by such monkey business. And please, spare me the ‘statistics and records’ business. It’s exactly what it is-business. Each other sport has turned that way, statistics are just as vital and memorable to the fans of other sports. Cricket is probably even more statistically orientated than baseball.
    I just find in baseball, it’s slightly more prickly a subject, and overly controversial.

    Does the company ‘PLAYER X’ works for care that he may of taken PED’s? -Only if he is caught doing so, and tarnished via public scrutiny.
    Does the Company PLAYER X works for care if he juices up to his eyeballs, his hair turns yellow due to this, and compiles elite numbers? Absolutely not unless he tests positive and is tarred with feathers.

    I don’t see this in any other sport besides baseball. As someone outside the country, all you have to do is look at football and wonder what the fuss is about when it comes to PEDS in baseball. Guys turning green on Sundays playing football, but baseball it’s like someone cattle branded your puppy to some.

    It’s interesting to me to look at this thing holistically, rather than squeezing it into a narrow gauge and forming a conclusion.

    • cur68 - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      Figures. I was gonna write much the same sentiment: you’d think baseball fans were a bunch of Victorian Ladies Cotillions (“Oh my stars & garters! That man is may be attempting to get an edge on his competition! I shall faint…catch me Maude!”). Beat me to it, dang your lanolin covered hide!

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Feb 1, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Competitive moral outrage is really the great American pastime.

  12. jason1214 - Feb 1, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Rogers is a tool………….who cares, he’s almost as bad as that clown Rosenbloom….

  13. bigleagues - Feb 1, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Phil Rodgers – Practicing Yellow Journalism Like It’s 1912.

  14. greej1938l - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Rodgers sounds like a cubs fan…pissed Brauns better then anyone on there team..sooo hes gota write a ignorant article too feel better about himself and the fact that his team will never win

  15. koufaxmitzvah - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    I wonder if Rogers amped up his column by tossing back a few before, during, and after jotting it down.

  16. bigleagues - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    BTW, not sure if Craig or anyone saw this, but . . .

    Bob Costas referenced an NFL rule that was put in place a few years ago, that does not allow players who were discovered to have used PED’s to be named to any league honors in the season/year of discovery and then stated the following with regard to Braun’s MVP on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday:

    “(Braun) tested positive in October of the year he won the MVP. So I think – and I’m not taking a shot at Ryan Braun here, terrific player, seems like a good guy too – but I think you submit it to a re-vote. In which case Matt Kemp would easily win. In fact, if the Dodgers had been contenders, Kemp would have won anyway because he actually had a better year than Braun.”

    Costas doesn’t seem to be uptospeed on the doubts being raised specifically about the Braun situation and he is yet another media member who uses ‘steroids’ interchangeably with ‘PED’s’.

  17. Barb Caffrey - Feb 2, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    I really hope Braun is found not guilty of this terrible accusation; once that happens, guys like Rogers will have to shut up. (Or give mea culpas. Either way, I’m for it.)

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